The party sets out for the city of Riverdale, making their way swiftly down the southern road. Given horses and mules by Lady Nalina, a friend of Malden’s (who also gave them the task of delivering word of the conditions of the north to Roland Highdale and Marcus Aldridge, two councilors from Riverdale with experience fighting the very mercenaries who plagued the Northsires now), they load up on gear and food, and push out quickly in order to reach Riverdale before winter. Along their way, the party met up with Brothers Theo and Gavin, two monks of the holy orders from Riverdale who were on a mission to reach the monastery at Emmil Cairn. Warned away from the place by the party (who learned of the destruction of the place earlier), they agree to accompany the group southward and try to ensure they receive a proper audience for their dire news when they arrive.
Flynn learned some strange things about his family’s past, and Kellin had a bad run-in with his drunken uncle, Aldorman Torvald. In a blind rage after being contradicted by his nephew, Torvald stripped Kellin of his priestly vestments, condemning him to exile from the holy order. To finish the deal, Torvald sent word south of Kellin’s insolence to a superior member of the priestly orders.
The party also learned of a pair of marshalls from Riverdale who had been asking around about the girl’s murder in the group’s absence. Although they apparently missed the duo, the party inquired as to their whereabouts and line of questions.
The party also had a run-in with some of Jallan‘s men on the road near The Olde Mill Inne. Although violence was averted, the candor of the meeting was less than cordial. The party quickly made their way past The Olde Mill Inne, and headed back to Alder’s Creek.
Melgin made a startling revelation to the party; after long hours of stewing over the strange details of the last few weeks, he came to the conclusion that the true target of the murderers on the road was none other than Malden himself. He told the group that the killers were almost certainly following the girl to Malden‘s location, which had been kept a secret for years; but then something; he couldn’t be sure what; something went wrong and the girl ended up getting savaged and killed before she could lead them to Malden himself.
Reaching Alder’s Creek, the group related their many tales of woe and danger to the gathered town elders, who promptly began to set about making things ready for the troubling times ahead. It was decided that Alder’s Creek would play host to the refugees coming out of the north, and all the while prepare to gather as much food and fodder as possible before winter could set in. They gave their blessings to the group’s mission to Riverdale, and wished them luck and the protection of the gods for their journey south.
After many trials and tribulations, the party finally arrived at the great city of Riverdale, where they were met by a strange fellow on the road. Dolan Rockfist, a dwarven mason from the Deeping Delve, had recently been thrown out of town by the constables for disturbing the peace. Along with some levity and good humor, he gave them news that proved to be an ill omen — Marcus Aldridge, one of the two men that Lady Nalina had sent them south to speak to — had been murdered only one night previous. As the group entered Riverdale (and helped Dolan enter quietly as well), they made their way onto their respective tasks, hoping that they weren’t too late after all.